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Gbagbo clings on amid violent clashes in Abidjan

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Gbagbo clings on amid violent clashes in Abidjan

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Fresh clashes broke out in Abidjan on Friday as forces loyal to incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo battle with supporters of president-elect Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo has not been seen in public for days and his whereabouts are unknown.

His aides have insisted he will not cede power to Ouattara, whom the international community recognises as the rightful president of Ivory Coast.

The United States, France, the UN and the African Union have urged Gbagbo to step down immediately, citing concerns over citizens caught up in the country’s bloody post-election conflict.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says at least 800 people have been killed during fighting for control of the western city of Duekoue.

Ivory Coast has been in crisis since the disputed November 28 election.

The vote had been expected to stabilise a country still scarred by a 2002 civil war.